Credit: William Powell
Credit: William Powell

Total Starts Cyprus Well

The drillrig West Capella arrived in block 11 offshore Cyprus July 12 to drill the first well at a prospect named Onesiphoros on behalf of the Total-Eni partnership. The well is about 180 km south of Limassol and within 8 km of the Cyprus-Egypt exclusive economic zone. 

With this, drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ is entering a definitive period, with as many as seven wells possibly drilled over the next 12 or so months. 

Following the recent disappointments at the bi-communal negotiations in Switzerland to resolve the Cyprus problem, a successful gas discovery will certainly lift spirits. Cyprus’ government has already taken steps to secure the area around Onesiphoros West-1 (OW-1) against shipping using Navtex.

These set-up safety zones against any shipping activities during the drilling period. The water depth at OW-1 is about 1700 metres and the reservoir is expected to be 3,500-4,250 m beneath that. This depth will be reached early September, after which it will be known whether a discovery has been made.

If successful, it will be followed by data acquisition and logging to assist Total to estimate potential gas quantities and quality, which will probably last another three weeks. The well will then be sealed and appraisal drilling will follow at a later stage. Preliminary results are expected to be announced September/October.


Charles Ellinas


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